Keep calm and panic

Anatomy of a Panic Attack

I am not one for cutting things open, unless of course we are talking about apple pie; but looking closely at things is another story. So is “The Shoemaker and the Elves,” but I don’t have time for such nonsense. My nonsense comes from within. Within is a nice place to be. It is cozy and warm and full of Fritos. Without, on the other hand, is not a nice place to be, unless of course you are without something bad: I am without hunger, I am without fear, I am without an idea for my next sentence. If you are without shoes, you are barefoot, as opposed to a bear foot, which is also known as a paw. Either way, it would be awfully hard to get elves to make footwear for a bear, so stop annoying me with such ridiculous ideas. I have plenty of my own.


Now that we have solved that dilemma, I would like to introduce some new ones. Otherwise we would not have anything to discuss. Luckily (for me, not you) I always have plenty to discuss. This is because my brain never stops working. This is a good thing. The bad thing is that it is earning minimum wage.

Scientists believe that the main reason our brains never take a break is because God never installed an off switch, unless of course you count television which has the same effect. Modern technology, too, has virtually the same effect. It tends to push everything into one little corner of the brain (that little bump between cognitive reasoning and the addictive behavior cortex) and crams it in there until you unplug yourself from what you were doing. This is why we are flooded with impatient energy as soon as we disconnect from our technology. We leave the euphoria of dormant brain waves only to be assaulted by the flood of the real world. This is like walking through a mine field wearing clown shoes. Something is going to blow very soon, and you can’t tell whether it will be comic or tragic.


But enough about me. I came here today to help you. Still, this will be impossible unless you tell me what’s bothering you. If you are like me, you have a list at the ready. If not, then you can rent one at very reasonable rates until you remember where you left yours. If you want, I can suggest some topics, until your anxieties kick in; and then we can begin.


Ever since I was a boy – and probably even before that – I have been puzzled by many things: why they decided to put the red light at the top, why smart people don’t know how to comb their hair, and why people blow their noses into handkerchiefs and save the results. There are a lot more, but I don’t want to get disgusting.

When I grew to be a little older, I realized that there were no answers to these questions – only more questions. So, the more I thought, the less I knew; and the more that I knew I knew less, the smarter I was. The problem with this is that to reach ultimate knowledge, you must also achieve ultimate ignorance, as the two are equal. The problem with this is that you can’t tell anyone because they will lock you up. My advice is to invest in good disguises.


The word “panic” is of Greek origin. It stems from the root syllable “pa” meaning fatherly or paternal, and “nic” from the god Nicademus, the god of eating food outdoors “(a.k.a. picnic). Therefore, panic literally means “to have a picnic with one’s father,” and if you knew my father, you would see that sharing any kind of meal with him was no picnic by any stretch of the imagination. This is when panic sets in.


If you are with someone who induces your panic attacks, you will need to get rid of them. The best way to do this is to laugh. It is impossible to laugh and panic at the same time. My suggestion would be to carry a book of “knock, knock” jokes around with you. There is a downside to this, however, since most people do not like knock, knock jokes and tend to get belligerent after you have told them several dozen. When this happens, be prepared to duck.

You can also get rid of a panic attack by giving it to someone else. Probably the quickest way to do this is to make them start worrying about their health and/or appearance. Clever phrases like “I think I see a pimple starting” and “You really should get that mole checked out” usually do the trick.

The last way to get rid of a panic attack it to have one. Just let it happen and it will eventually go away. If not, you can take solace in knowing that you will soon be taking a trip to a nice, quiet place where they will feed you and allow you to have visitors once a week.

The Truth Revealed

By this time, viewers will be wondering where I get my facts, and perhaps wondering if I make this up as I go. My answer to that would be yes, I do, and why do you consider yourself a viewer? You can’t see me can you? If you can, then we both have bigger problems than first anticipated.

In closing, I would please urge everyone to recycle their trash, and to not take my advice as being anywhere near accurate. I simply panicked because I had nothing to write about today – and this was the results. So, what it really comes down to is my closing thought: aren’t you glad you’re not me?


About Joe

Freelance designer and writer whose goal is to help others by writing about my experiences with fear and anxiety (agoraphobia), health struggles (cancer) and my wonderfully-happy life as a husband and stay-at-home dad. I want to empower everyone to have a happy life.

One response »

  1. Hah, you made me smile. 🙂

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